Anticholinergic Drugs

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Chapter: Essential pharmacology : Anticholinergic Drugs And Drugs Acting On Autonomic Ganglia

Conventionally, anticholinergic drugs are those which block actions of ACh on autonomic effectors and in the CNS exerted through muscarinic receptors. Though nicotinic antagonists also block certain actions of ACh, they are generally referred to as ‘ganglion blockers’ and ‘neuromuscular blockers’.


ANTICHOLINERGIC DRUGS

(Muscarinic Receptor Antagonists, Atropinic, Parasympatholytic)

 

Conventionally, anticholinergic drugs are those which block actions of ACh on autonomic effectors and in the CNS exerted through muscarinic receptors. Though nicotinic antagonists also block certain actions of ACh, they are generally referred to as ‘ganglion blockers’ and ‘neuromuscular blockers’.

 

Atropine, the prototype drug of this class, is highly selective for muscarinic receptors, but some of its synthetic substitutes do possess significant nicotinic blocking property in addition. The selective action of atropine can easily be demonstrated on a piece of guinea pig ileum where ACh induced contractions are blocked without affecting those evoked by histamine, 5HT

 

or other spasmogens. The selectivity is, however, lost at very high doses. All anticholinergics are competitive antagonists.

 

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